May 31st: Parliament's Last Chance

Update: the vote described below failed. On May 31st, 159 MPs voted against the motion supporting the recommendations of the special committee on electoral reform, and just 146 MPs voted in favour of it.   

On May 31st, members of parliament (MPs) will have one more chance to move forward on electoral reform. On Wednesday, MPs will vote on whether to accept the recommendations of the report from the House of Commons special committee on electoral reform. If that doesn't happen there is only one logical option for supporters of voter-right's. 

 

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform wrote a 333 page report that "illustrates clear consensus among experts that our system should be more proportional, consensus among Canadians on the need for more government co-operation across party lines, and consensus among parties on a process for changing the system."

However, in the Prime Minister's mandate letter to Minister of Democratic Institutions, Karina Gould, Justin Trudeau asked her to shelve the promise of replacing the first-past-the-post voting system.

It's possible, though unlikely, that a majority of MPs will vote in favour of the special committee's recommendations to continue pursuing reform, given that Trudeau has clearly expressed his preference to maintain the status quo. Once that happens, it could be years (or even decades), and several elections from now before the electoral reform is made possible through political channels. 

The only alternative to waiting for electoral reform to happen through political means is to raise it as an issue through the court system, and work hard to ensure that the case is heard at the Supreme Court.

Donate today to help raise the $75,000 it will take to initiate work on this Charter Challenge. 

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Current Status:

- In early August of 2019, we raised enough support ($70,000) to cover the costs of preparing a court application and securing expert testimony for our case.

- The case is being filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on October 9th, 2019
 

How you can help

The main way you can help is to support the case financially. We need to raise another $150,000 to cover the costs associated with arguing the case at two levels of provincial court, and to file an application for leave with the Supreme Court of Canada. You can make a tax-deductible donation here.


What to expect

- Once filed, the case will be heard in a provincial court.

- Following an initial decision, there will be an appeal heard in another court. If the initial decision is in our favour, the Government of Canada will likely appeal it. If the decision is not in our favour, we will appeal it.

- Finally, the case may be heard by the Supreme Court. If the decision of the appeal court is in our favour, we suspect the Government will request leave from the Supreme Court. If the decision of the appeal court is in the government's favour, we will request leave from the Supreme Court to hear the case. If the case is heard in the Supreme Court of Canada, the decision will be final. If the case isn’t granted leave to be heard in the Supreme Court, the decision of the appeal court will be final.


Time and Money

We estimate the total costs for arguing and overseeing this case to be in the range of $300,000 - $350,000, spread out over the course of 2 - 4 years.

At each step, we will set a goal based on our estimate of the costs at each stage, and ask supporters to contribute to help us reach that goal, and to ensure the case can continue to move forward.